Using my new lights for the first time

Using my new lights for the first time

So I bought some flash lights to add to my kit. Quite often I'l get ideas for more dynamic images that need coloured gels, harsh lighting, highlights etc so I felt I had to cave and get my flash lights. 

I only have a small space and don't need fancy pants lighting. I bought the Elinchrom D-Lite One RX, actually I bought three of them. I didn't opt for the kit because you got two small octoboxes and only two lights which is great but it worked out cheaper for me to get three lights and the soft boxes, snoots and dishes separately. Including an octobox which is the size of my house... I'm yet to use it. Also I opted for Elinchrom since if I want to upgrade I won't have to upgrade the whole kit, just the light heads.





Self portrait time

When a model bails on you, what else can you do?

So I had a feeling the day before this shoot that the model was going to bail... I'm sure every photographer gets this sensation. She did bail. We were going to do a 'strong woman' shoot, knives, guns, harsh light almost post apocalyptic.

So I put some lipstick on, darkened my blonde eyebrows which are invisible on camera, put an old shirt on and grabbed my 'zombie' knife. 

Next I set up my kit in the living room... a small feat. For this I had a snoot with a magenta gel in on the right. On the left is a small dish with a blue gel. Then there is an strip light softbox right in front of me on the lowest setting to soften those harsh lines in the middle of my face. 

I figured this out after 3 episodes of gilmore girls... I like having something on whilst I work which can keep me laughing whilst I get frustrated with having to maneuver myself over the couch repeatedly, the fact I left my tripod in my car and it's having it's MOT on this day so I'm using the smallest, flimsiest tripod made for compact and go-pro cameras... I'm surprised it's still standing (it's tallest height is 4ft) I was on a short stool sitting down to try and get a good height. 

Despite being deeply uncomfortable on taking some self portraits which I've not done in a while, I'm quite pleased with the light! Still got stuff to play with and can't wait to play with them a little more.  

Underwater DSLR casing comparisons

Underwater DSLR casing comparisons

So as many of you may have guessed I adore doing underwater work, I wish I could do more of it. But my old case wasn't giving me the results I wanted, shooting through plastic poses a lot of problems, one being that the sharpness of your images is immediately compromised. Also having your camera in essentially a toughened plastic bag means you can't operate it very easily, also if you decide to change lenses, to a shorter one you have to pull the tunnel of plastic back so the plastic front is against your lense... I'll tell you now I often wanted to chuck it across the room mid-shoot of how difficult this made it.

So I took the plunge (no pun intended) and invested a lot of money into a proper case. A hard case with a glass port. It was one of those big investment pieces. I got the IKELITE 200FL HOUSING FOR CANON EOS 5D MARK III, 5D MARK IV, 5DS, 5DS R,  the IKELITE #5510.16 MODULAR PORT BODY, STANDARD STALK ONLY and IKELITE #5510.35 MODULAR PORT, FLAT ASSEMBLY (This is my full set up).

Cameras Underwater were great in advising me for what I was looking for and shipped it practically overnight. I was so excited when it arrived. 

I got to use it and compare the differences. Same model, same pool, same camera and lens, same conditions. 

Here are some comparisons (Top is my new housing, bottom is my old underwater bag) These are the unedited raw versions of the images.

As you can see there's a massive difference in quality, the sharpness of the image is far superior in the hard case than the bag. It makes editing a lot easier, and for me looks more professional.

I'm very excited by all the possibilities with this new casing, I've already got a few shoots up my sleeve.